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The original item was published from 8/15/2019 5:07:36 PM to 12/1/2019 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: August 15, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Crowded in 3 years: Can Williamson County keep up with growth?

As families flock to settle in Williamson County, many are attracted to the bucolic landscape and successful schools. But the overcrowding of the new Nolensville schools in less than three years serves as an example of the county's rapid growth.

And officials say there's no fool-proof way to manage it. 

Nolensville celebrated the opening of three new schools in 2016, all built in a connected convenient cluster – Nolensville High School and the K-8 Mill Creek elementary and middle schools, housed in one sprawling building. 

However, during the 2018-19 school year, Mill Creek Elementary School had already reached its capacity, which prompted the rezoning of some families to Nolensville Elementary. Meanwhile, Thompson's Station Elementary grew even faster, reaching capacity just one year after it opened...   

"I saw this happening," said Thompson's Station mayor Corey Napier, who supports "controlled growth."

"We decided to blow up our [land use plan] and start over because it just wasn't working for us." 

The town adopted its Land Development Ordinance in 2015 which aims to preserve green space, foster sustainability and guide development.

"We're not about rapid growth. We are about modest, moderate growth we can direct," he said.

Some officials suggest more strategic communication between the county, cities and school system could help planning decisions for schools.

"We are all in this together as a county. All municipalities have to work together in collaboration with the county," Napier said. "Shame on us as leaders in our communities ... to not [have a plan]. We know where the growth is happening."...

-- per   with The Tennessean

The Tennessean Article . . .
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